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[captioning made possible by nbc universal] chris: president obama tells independent voters they're right on his agenda. he wants what they want, jobs, economic security, hope for their kids, but with the job numbers still bad can he charm the middle and win aboard some republicans? stand by your man. the treasury's tim geithner gets whacked by the right and the left. is the problem that obama's
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chief economic guy just looks like wall street? then finally the president needs a fewoo gd repubcansli to volunteer for compromise but the right-wing tea party is looking to knock off anyone who does. hi, i'm chris matthews. welcome to the show. kedoy o'llnnell covers congress for nbc news. jim cramer hosts "mad money" on cnbc, katie connolly covers application for "newsweek" and andrew sullivan is senior editor of the "the atlantic." the universal advice to the president after the massachusetts vote, change the message. then thursday the president took his urgent campaign to win back the independents on the road. >> the economy is growing again. the worst of the storm has passed. but i think all of you understand the devastation remains.
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one in 10 americans still can't find work. that's why creating jobs has to be our number one priority in 2010. chris: jim, what can he do? >> he has to go infrastructure, stop thinking about creating more civil jobs. these teacher jobs have no multiprior. $1 billion equals 30,000 jobs in infrastructure. he's got $50 billion left with the stimulus. $2.2 billion in infrastructure is needed. chris: that's good sounding but will the congress spend the money? >> they're so averse right now to be viewed as hearing spending, spending, but there's always the math being done about was it really a job, a short-term job, extra hours for someone
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out of the stimulus? they know they have to pivot to jobs. but how to do it and in what kind of package that's sellable? chris: can they actually create jobs that look like jobs. the president was on the state of the union saying i created so many jobs. i don't see them! >> all presidents should be panned -- banned from ever saying they create jobs. they don't. the real truth no one wants to admit is he can't do very much. this recession is caused by long-term factors. the one thing he can do is try and fix the long-term physical crifmentse i think this on the debt will reassure the global markets that we have a viable future and that's what he needs to
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do. that's fiscally responsible 'st itbu long term. chris: do the people at the white house you cover, katie, do they feel they blew it by spending all of last year talking health care? >> i think it was a real problem and wasn't part of their political calculation. they wanted to have it over and done with by august. had that happened that would be out of the headlines right now. i think it was a miscalculation in timing on their behalf. but when it comes to job stuff, smart democrats in congress know it's not just the political future of the president, it's their political future as well and i think there are some republicans that know that too. political problem for the president is he's raised expectation by saying he's going to have a jobs spill but there's a long-term run-up to these. there are not going to be jobs created in 90 days. >> the one thing he did that
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was brilliant was $45 million in guarantees to nuclear power. those require more jobs than any other project. natural gas, we're in abundled answer. we're going to be exporting. you can put so many people to work crisscrosses pipelines, just like f.d.r. it's the largest growing industry in this country. give it some tax celts. the clerk: talk about the economic outlook for 2010. is it going to be a good year for the -- for the market or unemployment? >> if china continues to slow down we'll not be able to export all we sold last quarter. 1. million on the census. that means we are going to dead unemployment so it's not going to be a bad year. chris: how about the stock market? are you in or out? >> i'm. in interest rates are low,
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housing is going to come back. the president will create some jobs. we're not going to see the level of foreclosures we had and if he stops picking on the banking industry they may actually loan. chris: so the little people are well-advised by you today to put money in the stock market. >> not in the next three weeks because of the turmoil with china, but yes. we're making names like ford motor but also in technology like apple computer. do not give up. >> can we take notes on what jim is saying? and i was in the chamber during the state of the union and when he touched on nuclear, the republicans had the most genuine moment of leaping to their feet. the democrats were closer to -- slowser to rise. chris: his personality, great numbers. cnn poll after the state of the union, 78% liked the
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guy. >> last week he was the only adult in the room. i think the republican party is utterly uninterested in governing but in killing his president siffle. the democrats are so useless that everybody in this country understands obama is the best thing we've got. he's a reasonable sentist -- centrist person. we thought he was the one person to get past these old problems and the health care problem is actually a central centrist solution to this problem and if he lets that go then his promise is over. chris: what's the white house view of how he did? >> they're looking at what they need to do -- ditch all this talk of partisan and bipartisan and post partisan. that hasn't worked and he needs to start calling
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republicans out, which he started on wins night. chris: doesn't he need to keep encouraging them to join them? >> he needs to perhaps bully republicans into siding with him. chris: i think he could woo them by being better than them in embarrass them. what are your thoughts? >> i think he has to give bipartisan message but underneath play real partisan hardball. >> when you talk to them they say they can't seem to get through, the phone isn't answered. joan becamer said he's not been able to speak to rahm emanuel in a year, the president's chief of staff. of course they know they have been difficult, not easy partners, but they also think there could be more to let them in the door. >> are you kidding? they gave the man no votes on a modest stimulus package in his first month. >> i understand. >> this was an act of
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premeditated obstructionism and opposition with no thought about the interests of the country. the republicans seem to be totally am nearby yak for our current situation, utterly able to wipe their own slate clean and then attack, attack. >> i'm just telling you how they gauge those moments and describe it. chris: i wanted -- anyway. >> and i do think the president needs toall c them out on this. they're getting away with it because there's not a central figure saying this is not appropriate. >> health care got jobs derailed, like it or not. chris: can the president get political credit for the jobs push? if unemployment stays up around 10% until the elections this november, could the president still get credit for his jobs push?
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11 says no. only one, yes. that's you, andrew. >> yes, because people say he's sincere and trying. chris: kelly? >> i think people will appreciate the effort but they need to see the results. >> i also think that if the ecomy is starting to improve people will have more tolerance for the unemployment number. >> it improves because china is employing people, not us. chris: we saw geithner being grilled on the hill and then the president gave this embarrass to him on the night of the speech. does he have a chance to make it? >> that moment the president embraced him there was the smile, the buddy hug. i think that spoke loudly about his intent to try to keep him there. chris: you agree? >> i think the vokeo thing was a charade.
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>> geithner is. in >> obama loves him. always has. chris: when the president traveled to tampa on thursday, he was quick to claim that, while he may live in washington, he's not of washington. >> it's always nice to get out of washington -- it is. and spend a little time with the people who sent me to washington. chris: washington bashing is a time-honored tradition, even among incumbent presidents. here's the master, ronald reagan, campaigning for re-election inive in 1984. >> coming back here from washington, d.c. is a little bit like landing in the real world after an extended visit to the twilight zone. chris: in 2000, george w. bush ran as a washington outsider, despite spending much of his young adult life in washington. w chose his tasex side.
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care for our people. one thing about insurance -- that's a washington term. chris: anyway, the queen of outsiders has to be sarah palin. here she was at a north carolina fund raiser in 2008. >> we believe that the best of america is not all in washington, d.c. we believe -- we believe that the best of america is in the small towns that we get to visit and in these wonderful little pockets of what i call the real america, being here with all of you hard working, very patriotic, very pro-america areas of this great nation. chris: well, tina fey had some fun with that. >> you see, while senator biden has been in washington all these years, i've been with regular people, hockey moms and joe six-packs and i'd also like to give a
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shoutout to the third-graders of gladys woods elementary, who were so helpful to me in my debate prep. chris: you know those tea partyers? now democrats are tying them to purity tests. they wants to pin those republicans as crazies.
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chris: welcome back. president obama wants republicans to join him. >> these are serious times and what's required by all of us, democrats and republicans is to do what's right for our country. even if it's not always what's best for our politics. chris: but republicans are under big pressure not to help. they're in a big squeeze right now between a tactic by a bill:'s or doe -- obama's
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fellow democrats and pressure from tea parties. they're wanting to get republicans on the record on tea party issues. like, do you believe barack obama is a u.s. citizen? are social security and medicare socialism and do you believe barack obama is a solist. the idea is to make them unacceptable to the political middle. the tea partyers don't trust regular republicans at all. here's a tea party hero, glenn beck. >> americans have been fighting this battle in the last year through the tea parties. americans are on to the republicans, who are just really progressives. we know now i'm not going to trust somebody because they have a d. or an r. on their name. chris: andrew, the tea partyers are making the republicans sign on to this bill of particulars like the
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birther stuff. >> the burter stuff is deadly and a lot of people do think it. chris: deadly to whom? >> to the republican party. i think they do represent -- i think this is again bush, i have to say. they lived under eight years of an allegedly conservative president who spent and borrowed and invaded and did everything that a liberal democrat might have done. 'rtheye so furious but they repressed it now they're exploding. chris: you deal with people who want to keep their jobs, people like john mccain. they're all being hechted by these tea partyers. >> and one of the things they're learning from what scott brownid d in m is that he quickly got out and
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identified and defined his opponent martha coakley and tried to define himself in the realm of being a republican who looked independent. chris: how do you avoid looking crazy. he didn't sign on to a lot of the tea party stuff, did he? >> no, he tried to stay focused on it's about good government, it's about open leaders. that's the kind of vibe that he used and people are saying whatever energy fueled his campaign from tea partyers that he didn't sign on to some of the most provocative aspects. chris: senator menendez of new jersey is trying to leverage this. he's saying, ok, let's go to all the regular republicans and make them sign on to all this crazy stuff so if we face them in the general we can beat them with the independents. >> i think it's a smart strategy and will work in
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some circumstancings. my question with the tea party stuff is will they be able to maintain their political poet enzi over t longer term? this movement was born out of anger and fear and if the economy starts to improve, that sort of dissipates. i have questions about whether or not over the coming months if republicans start to distance themselves and take a lesson from the scott brown example. chris: i hear ross perot here. without the southern accent but that 19% in the middle that says i don't trust either party, i'm sort of a libertarian. >> that did more because gore was able to say, listen, what you are against, there are jobs. they're against jobs, foreclosure and they want to get rid of medicare and social security. chris: can president obama govern without some republican support?
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some moderates? >> it's a huge challenge but because he has had this kind of disappearance of independents, that's e bigger problem and if he can pull some of them back and some of the more moderate republicans. chris: can he govern without them? >> it's really difficult. >> go to high unemployment areas where the republicans are. chris: you're still hope snfl >> yeah. >> i think it's very difficult for him this year without republicans. chris: you know he has to govern without them? >> i do and i think reconciliation on the health care bill -- chris: jam it through. >> this is his stature moment. i don't quit. i think it's a battle of nerves right now and if obama and the democrats keep their nerve they'll be fine. if they lose it, it's over. >> reconciliation as a political element.
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chris: tell me something i don't know, be right back.
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chris: welcome back. kelly, tell me something i don't know. >> we think of the magical, mystical baufrpblt we're seeing it in strange ways, people voting against what they normally would to prepare for november and suddenly democrats and republicans trying to find things to work together on so they can sell themselves
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as baurns. >> ford will be the largest motor company if the world. it will take two years. apple ipad, the newest biggest device in industry. >> look for congressman john bozeman to throw his hat in the ring for blanche lincoln's senate seat. he's starting to call donors. i think that signals a lot about the shift down there in arkansas. chris: is wesley clark running for congress? >> i don't think so. chris: andrew? >> in the palin area, no republican who's actually competing in a really competitive seat wants her fire near them. chris: americans rate the president as personally very likable. will that carry him over the hump?
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chris: welcome back. 75% of americans say president obama is likable but just 48% approve of the job he's doing. will that high personality likable number carry him through? >> now and in history but there may be that point
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where people say, it's like the good guy in the person butbe may he always doesn't perform so well. but the personality does have power. >> if we don't get above, that he's a bum. >> as long as people aren't scared about losing their job is going to be the factor. >> as long as it's allied by a bipartisan problem solving agenda, he's golden. chris: thanks for a great round table. kelly o'donnell, jim cramer, katie connolly and andrew sullivan. that's the show. thanks for watching. see you here next week. [captioning made possible by nbc universal]
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The Chris Matthews Show
NBC January 31, 2010 11:00am-11:30am EST

News/Business. (2010) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Washington 10, America 3, China 3, Jim Cramer 2, Katie Connolly 2, Andrew Sullivan 2, D.c. 2, Us 2, Ross Perot 1, Wesley Clark 1, Menendez 1, Scott Brownid 1, Palin 1, Biden 1, Kelly O'donnell 1, Siffle 1, Joan Becamer 1, Sarah Palin 1, Scott Brown 1, Blanche Lincoln 1
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